I had an interview scheduled for this morning at 11:00am with a tech company in Dublin. It was a Social Media Coordinator position with a company located on Grafton Street, one of the main business streets in the city centre. I thought it would be exciting to work in such a well-known location and I looked forward to the interview all weekend.

Things seemed positive. After submitting my application Thursday afternoon, I was called first thing the following morning. The quick response was a good sign! I had a conversation with the recruiter and she told me that my CV is impressive. I have all the right experience for the job--four years working with marketing, social media integration, training experience, and business solutions. During our phone conversation, I made sure to mention that I would handle the paperwork and the fees for my work permit if given the opportunity (my fear is that companies are turning me down to avoid the hassle or the cost of hiring a non-EEA citizen). She said they were excited to interview me and she would call me later to confirm the time and place. I never got a call but thanks to the positive feedback, I was confident the interview would go well.

I woke up this morning and called the recruiter around 9am to confirm the location. I had my clothes picked out and woke up early. I wanted to give myself extra time to arrive early and make a good impression.

Instead of giving me the address over the phone, I was told the company decided to cancel my interview. The recruiter I had spoken with on Friday said that because I required a work permit, the company didn't think it was worth meeting me. Even though I offered to take care of the whole process including fees, the company was refusing to hire me. In fact, she went on to explain, they would only consider sponsoring a work permit for positions worth €60K per year or higher. Since the position I applied for was a "more junior" (lower salaried) position, it was out of the question. The job I was supposed to interview was listed on under the range of €35-45K per annum.

Irish law says that under the Work Permit Scheme, any salary over €30K is automatically eligible for work permit approval. Non-EEA citizens can even be considered for positions paying below that salary, as long as the job is from within the Permit Eligible Occupations--a list that includes Technology Professionals. Still, there is no law that requires a company to comply or participate, even when a candidate is well-qualified.

I have so many questions.
  1. What am I supposed to do if I legally qualify for a work permit but companies are unwilling to hire me? 
  2. Is there any action I can take to encourage companies to give me a chance? 
  3. Are the companies even familiar with the law and the process they are refusing to take part in? 
  4. Does the government burden companies participating in the Work Permit Scheme so much that they avoid it at all costs? 
With over 100 job applications submitted in the past three months, I wonder how many passed me over for this exact reason. Currently I am ticked off and slightly baffled at getting canceled on. The more I think about it, the more indignant I feel. How do you think I should feel about this?


  1. Hey Alison it's Norah, I put your blog on my google reader and I've been enjoying your entries. I lived in London for two years when I was younger and can relate to a lot of the cultural differences and slang you mention. That really sucks about getting your interview cancelled. I just moved to a new city so have been looking for a new job and know how frustrating it is without having to deal with being a non-citizen.

    I hope someone else with better advice will be able to chime in. I really don't know what else you could have done other than mention you'd handle the paperwork and fees if you were hired. Keep your chin up. You will find something!

  2. Norah thanks for the 2nd 'chin up' of the day...I appreciate the encouragement. Good luck to us both!


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